Public Service Loan Forgiveness Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Information for Borrowers

Are you currently employed with or planning to pursue a career with a PUBLIC SERVICE organization?

Are you currently a full-time AmeriCorps or Peace Corps volunteer?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, then you may qualify for forgiveness of any remaining balance on your eligible federal student loans thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for PSLF?

You must…

Have Eligible Loan Types

  • Federal Direct Stafford Loans (Direct Subsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loans (Direct Unsubsidized Loans)
  • Federal Direct PLUS Loans (Direct PLUS Loans) for parents and graduate or professional students
  • Federal Direct Consolidation Loans (Direct Consolidation Loans)
  • Special Direct Consolidation Loans
  • TEACH Loans

Don't see your loan program on the list above? Review your options at studentloans.gov to consolidate your loans through the Federal Direct Loan program to make them eligible for PSLF.

If you do not know what type of loans you have, visit www.nslds.ed.gov.


Make 120 Qualifying Payments

  • Must have been made after October 1, 2007
  • Must be on-time (no later than 15 days after the scheduled due date)
  • Must be made each month, satisfying in full the installment amount due for that month
  • Must be made when the loan is not in a default status

Make Payments Under an Eligible Repayment Plan

  • Pay As You Earn Plan (not available on parent Direct PLUS Loans or Direct Consolidation Loans that paid a parent PLUS Loan)
  • Income-Based Repayment (IBR) Plan (not available on parent Direct PLUS Loans or Direct Consolidation Loans that paid a parent PLUS Loan)
  • Income-Contingent Repayment (ICR) Plan (not available on parent Direct PLUS Loans or Direct PLUS Consolidation Loans)
  • Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period
  • Any other Direct Loan Program repayment plan with payments that are at least equal to the monthly payment amount that would have been required under the Standard Repayment Plan with a 10-year repayment period

Maintain a Full-Time Employment Status

Working in one or more jobs for the greater of:

  • An annual average of at least 30 hours per week (or for a contractual or employment period of at least 8 months, an average of 30 hours per week); or
  • The number of hours the employer considers full-time, unless your employment is with two or more employers

NOTE: For purposes of the full-time requirement with a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit or other private non-profit public service organization, your qualifying employment does not include time spent on job duties that are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.


Work for a Qualifying Public Service Organization

  • A Federal, State, local, or Tribal government organization, agency, or entity (includes most public schools, colleges and universities);
  • A public child or family service agency;
  • A non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code that is exempt from taxation under section 501(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (includes most not-for-profit private schools, colleges, and universities);
  • A Tribal college or university; or
  • A private non-profit organization (that is not a labor union or a partisan political organization) that provides at least one of the following public services:
    • Emergency management
    • Military service
    • Public safety
    • Law enforcement
    • Public interest law services
    • Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten)
    • Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
    • Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
    • Public education
    • Public library services
    • School library services
    • Other school-based services

What Should I Know About Consolidation?

You should know…

Consolidating Could Make Your Loans Eligible for PSLF

Only Direct Loans are eligible for PSLF. Consolidating your ineligible loans into a Direct Consolidation Loan can make your loans eligible for PSLF, as long as you meet all other program requirements.

Learn more about consolidation!

Information about Qualifying Payments

If you've already made qualifying payments, a good option may be to consolidate without including your Direct Loans. When you consolidate, you create a new Direct Loan. As a result, any of the required 120 qualifying payments you already made will be "erased."

Continuing with your consolidation without your Direct Loans allows you to begin making qualifying payments on your other loan balances without losing qualifying payments you may have already made on your Direct Loans.

Your Repayment Options

The PSLF eligible repayment plans are the same before and after you consolidate. Though consolidating may qualify you for an extended repayment term, you still need to select a repayment plan with a repayment term of 10 years (unless you request an Income-Driven Repayment Plan) to make qualifying payments toward PSLF.

View more details on eligible repayment plans.

View additional details of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program at the Federal Student Aid Website.

Fact Sheet | Additional Q&As

Download Employment Certification FormDownload Employment Certification Form for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Question

Still Have Questions?

We are here to help you with every step of the process. Contact one of our Public Service Loan Forgiveness specialists at 855-265-4038 for more information.

Information for Employers

If you are recognized as a public service organization and have employees who are paying back their student loans, they may be able to apply for Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) as a benefit for working at your organization.

FAQ

What is the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program?

The PSLF Program was established to encourage individuals to enter and continue in full-time employment in lower-paying but vitally important public service jobs. The program allows eligible borrowers to cancel the remaining balance of their Direct loans after serving full time at a public service organization for at least 10 years while making 120 qualifying monthly payments after October 1, 2007.

How do I know if my organization is considered to be a qualifying public service organization for purposes of Public Service Loan Forgiveness for my employee(s)?

Your organization type should be described as one of the following three categories in order to be considered a qualifying employer for purposes of PSLF.

A government organization

Any Federal, State, local, or Tribal government entity is an eligible employer for the PSLF Program. Examples include the U.S. military, public elementary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, public child and family service agencies, and special governmental districts (including entities such as a public transportation, public water, or public bridge district, or a public housing authority).

A non-profit, tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code

Eligible not-for-profit organizations include those that are tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Examples include most private, not-for-profit elementary and secondary schools, private, not-for-profit colleges and universities

A private, non-profit organization (providing certain public services)

If your organization is a labor union or a partisan political organization it is not an eligible PSLF employer. Eligible services include:

  • Emergency management
  • Military service
  • Public safety
  • Law enforcement
  • Public interest law services
  • Early childhood education (including licensed or regulated child care, Head Start, and state-funded pre-kindergarten)
  • Public service for individuals with disabilities and the elderly
  • Public health (including nurses, nurse practitioners, nurses in a clinical setting, and full-time professionals engaged in health care practitioner occupations and health care support occupations)
  • Public education
  • Public library services
  • School library services
  • Other school-based services

NOTE: For purposes of the full-time requirement with a Section 501(c)(3) non-profit or other private non-profit public service organization, a borrower's qualifying employment does not include time spent on job duties that are related to religious instruction, worship services, or any form of proselytizing.

What is my role in the application process for forgiveness?

In order to determine if your employee is eligible for PSLF, we need your help to certify the employment status of the employee that did/does work for your organization as this information is required. Your current or former employee will ask you to complete the employer Section (3) of the Employment Certification Form (ECF).

Who is eligible to complete Section 3 of the Employment Certification Form?

The Employment Certification Form (ECF) must be completed by someone who has access to the borrower's employment or service records, is authorized by the organization to certify the employment status of a current or former employee or service member, and is able to provide all necessary data requested in Section 3 of the ECF.

How often should the Employment Certification Form be completed to certify employment?

There is no specific requirement for the frequency of completing the Employment Certification Form (ECF) and updating FedLoan Servicing with the employment status for the employee. The employee must be employed at an approved public service organization for at least 10 years while they are making qualifying payments so at least 10 years of employment/service will need to be certified. The general frequency for submitting an ECF to provide an update on employment/service status is once a year for the prior year of employment/service.

View additional details of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program at the Federal Student Aid Website.

Fact Sheet | Additional Q&As

Helpful Hints for Completing the Employment Certification Form (ECF)

  1. Make sure the employee completes Sections 1 and 2 of the form.
  2. Do not certify the ECF if your organization is for-profit.
  3. Complete all fields of Section 3 or your employee's ECF may be denied.
    • Required fields that are most commonly left blank:
      • Federally assigned employer ID# (EIN)
      • Type of non-profit organization
      • Signature and/or date
    • Required fields that are most commonly completed incorrectly:
      • ECF ITEM 2A
        • If the employee is currently employed, list the date you are signing the form as the employment end date on the ECF. Future employment cannot be certified.
      • ECF ITEM 3
        • Check one box (a, b, or c) next to the category which best describes your public service organization. For additional information, see Section 5 of the form.
        • Is your organization a government organization (such as Federal, State, or local government, Tribal organization, public school system, military)?
          • If yes, check only box a and nothing else.
        • Is your organization tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code?
          • If yes, check only box b and nothing else.
        • Is your organization a private non-profit organization other than a 501(c)(3) that provides at least one of the public services listed under box c?
          • If yes, check box c and the appropriate box for the type(s) of public service you provide. At least one of the boxes under box c must be checked.
  4. Make sure to sign and date the form
  5. When all sections of the form are complete, it can be returned by mail or fax to FedLoan Servicing.

Download Employment Certification FormDownload Employment Certification Form for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

Question

Still Have Questions?

We are here to help you with every step of the process. Contact one of our Public Service Loan Forgiveness specialists at 855-265-4038 for more information.

Information for Schools

Want to learn more about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program? As the sole servicer for the PSLF Program, we will review the eligibility requirements, borrower experience, and resources for our school partners.

PSLF Resources

Contact Us

By Sector:

View additional details of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program at the Federal Student Aid Website.

Fact Sheet | Additional Q&As

Completed Forms

Mail or fax your completed form (borrower AND employer section completed) to:

FedLoan Servicing
Attn: Loan Forgiveness
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

Fax: (717) 720-1628

Make Your Loans Eligible for PSLF

Consolidate your federal loans to make them eligible for PSLF.